How to Change Name on my Driving Licence?

NameSwitch Guide Series

With a new name, it’s a nice feeling to know that all your important documents are updated to reflect the new you.

With so many people you need to notify about your name, the driving licence hiding at the back of a kitchen drawer or wallet is easily overlooked. But the DVLA is actually the only company which requires you by law to have your driver’s licence match your new name so it’s an important one to prioritise!

You’ll often be asked for your passport or drivers licence as ID and if you don’t hold a valid passport, failing to change your name on you licence could lead to big problems.

Thankfully, the process to change name on your driving licence is a lot simpler than you might imagine – and its something we can help you with too.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to change the name on your driving licence and also your vehicle registration certificate (V5C). Plus, you can change your address at the same time if you need to which is handy.

What documentation do I need to submit to change name on my driving licence?

Got a car or motorbike licence? You’ll need to complete a D1 “Application for a Driving Licence” form.

If it’s a lorry or bus licence, you’ll need to complete a D2 “Application for a Lorry/Bus Licence” form.

Unfortunately, you can’t do this online as you’ll need to send original certificates back with it.

Both forms can be ordered from the DVLA website or picked up in most post offices. The D1 pack is also available in Welsh, and if you’ve bought the NameSwitch Print Package, or the Deed Poll Premium Print Package, a D1 application form will be included in your pack.

Once you’ve filled out the right form, send it back to the DVLA along with your photocard or paper driving licence and any supporting documents that confirm your new name. Remember that original certificates must be provided as proof of your name change. The DVLA can’t accept any type of copy - whether that’s a photocopy or even a certified copy. It must be the original.

It’s worth being aware that the DVLA are working through a backlog of applications that have been sent since the start of the pandemic, so the process is taking a lot longer than it normally would. There can be a delay of more than eight weeks before your new drivers licence is delivered, although your original documents will be posted back to you before that. You can only approach the DVLA with queries once your process date has passed, so be prepared for a bit of a wait.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to take a photo or photocopy of your current drivers licence before you pop it in the post, so a least you have a record of it if you need it.

You’re allowed to drive whilst your licence is being renewed as long as you don't have any driving convictions, medical or any other restrictions.

What do I need to do?

Step 1: Fill out the form

  • Complete Section 1: Tick box 'to change my name on my licence' only
  • Complete Section 2: With your new name and title in the first main boxes and your previous name in the large box below it
  • Complete Section 5*:  If you hold a British Passport - Include your Passport Number if you hold a British Passport. You will not need to complete section B.
  • Complete Section 5B*: If you do not hold a British Passport - Tick box with evidence type you are enclosing and any associated document reference or serial numbers. 
  • Sign Section 7: In your new name!

NB: *If you have a BRITISH passport (in either your old or new name) then complete Section 5 - you will not need to check anything in 5B or send anything off as evidence of your identity (ie do not send your passport), your passport number will be enough.

Step 2: Send off to the DVLA together with:

  • D1 Application form
  • Your current photocard driving licence
  • Your original marriage certificate / civil partnership registration / decree absolute /deed poll (depending on how and why you changed your name)

Your driving licence and your identity documents will be sent back to you at different times via second class post.

We recommend you include a self-addressed special delivery envelope which you can get from the post office and keep note of the tracking number.

What does it cost to change name on my driving licence?

The good news is that it doesn’t cost anything to change name on driving licence. You’ll only be charged if your photocard has been lost or stolen.

Is a photo required to change name on my driving licence?

If you’ve already got a photocard licence then no, you won’t need new piccies. If you haven’t got a photocard licence already then yes, you’ll need to send the DVLA some passport-style photos.

Can I change my name on V5C vehicle registration document at the same time?

If you don’t update your vehicle registration document (V5C or commonly known as a log book), then you’ll risk a £1000 fine. But it’s really easy to do, so don’t panic. Just write your new name in full in section 6 of your vehicle’s log book (careful not to tick the “new keeper” box), and add a separate note to explain that you’ve changed your name. (If we’re helping you with this, NameSwitch will provide you with a pre-populated letter to include when you send everything off to the DVLA.)

If you’ve lost your V5C form you will need to provide the DVLA replacement V62 form. It costs money to do that so it’s worth hunting out your V5C.

Note, the address for the driving licence and for the V5C is different so you will need to send off each application separately. You can send your V5C with a photocopy of your marriage certificate/ civil partnership registration/ decree absolute/ deed poll – unlike the drivers licence, the DVLA do not need an original document to change your name on your log book.

How long does the name change on driving licence process take?

In normal circumstances it would be three weeks, but the DVLA are working through a backlog of applications so the process is taking a lot longer than it normally would. Because of that it could be more than eight weeks before your new drivers licence is delivered, although your original documents will be posted back to you before that.

You can check on the following link to get an idea of how long your application will take to be processed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update

The process can also be slowed down if the DVLA has to check your personal or health details.

How long does the Vehicle Registration (V5C) name change process take?

It can take as long as six weeks to receive your new log book, so if your vehicle needs taxing before then, make sure that you tax your vehicle online or at your local post office before you send it off to the DVLA.

Is the change name on driving licence process different for Northern Ireland?

It is, yes. Residents of Northern Ireland will need to check to NIDirect.gov.uk website.

What else do I need to do?

If you want to be super-organised, get what we call the ‘Trilogy of Driving Paperwork’ in order! In other words, make sure your V5C, driving licence and car insurance policy are all aligned. Making an insurance claim if you need to is painful enough, without the extra stress of the names not matching.

And don’t forget, we’re here to make your name change easier if you’d like some help.

We’ve got loads of useful FAQ's, blogs and name change guides on our website and the NameSwitch team can help you with specific questions. The average person has seventeen companies which they need to notify and figuring out who needs what can be daunting!

With over 700 UK companies already mapped on our systems – and more added and updated all the time, we offer a range of packages at affordable prices that make notifying the relevant people for each individual so much faster and without the fuss.

You can pick your preferred package, and we’ll provide you with personalised letters and forms that can be accessed via our secure online portal ready for you to sign and send.

To find out more or to ask for advice on your particular situation, please feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be very happy to help.